Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Sao Tome and Principe extend state of calamity through Sept. 15 in response to COVID-19 activity.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened screening, business and travel disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Sao Tome and Principe continue to enforce measures to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of Sept. 4. The state of calamity was extended Sept. 1 and is in place through Sept. 15. Further extensions are possible. The emergency declaration provides the government with powers to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

  • International flights have resumed. TAP Air Portugal (TP) flights between Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe resumed Sept. 1. Travelers must present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test result, obtained within 72 hours of arrival. Travelers without proof or displaying symptoms will be subject to a test at the port of arrival and may face quarantine measures for up to 14 days at a private residence or hotel.

 

  • Face masks remain mandatory. Social distancing and proper hygiene methods must also be adhered to.

 

  • Schools will reopen from Sept. 8.

 


COVID-19-related restrictions have largely been relaxed in recent weeks; however, further amendments or updates in response to disease activity are likely in the coming months. Disruptions to domestic and international travel are also likely to persist as authorities screen all arrivals and departures.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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